March 08, 2018 07:06 PM
The man convicted of fatally stabbing a single mother in a Minneapolis parking garage last summer was sentenced to 24 years behind bars Thursday morning.
Benjamin Love sat silently and stared straight ahead as friends and family members of 31-year-old Mai Yer Cha poured their hearts out in open court - including when Cha's seven-year-old son spoke via a recorded video message.
"It's not OK for killing my Mom," the boy said. "You are going to pay for killing my Mom."
"She was my best friend, my confidant, my partner in crime," her sister Ting Cha added. "Mai Yer's last words were 'Tell Aiden I love him.' Everything she did was for him."
Cha was killed inside the parking ramp on Second Avenue North on July 15 of last year while walking to her car with a group of friends. Investigators say Love attempted to rob the group and held a knife to one of the their throats.
When Cha tried to defend her friend, Love stabbed Cha in the heart.
Before Judge Jay Quam announced the sentence Thursday, he gave Love the chance to speak.
"I'd like to apologize to the victim's family," Love said. "I know, I know they probably don't believe me, but it was an accident. It wasn't meant to happen.
"My mom got her brains (blown) out in front of me when I was 13 years old so I can imagine the pain and suffering that they going through, but I truly apologize for my stupid act."
Love's 24-year sentence is more than recommended in the state's sentencing guidelines because he had been convicted of two other violent felonies prior to Cha's death.
Updated: March 08, 2018 07:06 PM
Created: March 08, 2018 02:10 PM
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